Sunday, 25 January 2015

Hello Hove!

Happy New Year folks....albeit a bit late!

I'm here, partially settled, at the seaside, still surrounded by way too many boxes, but here nevertheless.

This must have been the smoothest move ever....with the removal men arriving an hour earlier than me & the kitten.  All unpacked from the van and furniture assembled in 2 hours.  Thank you Les, you made it a lot easier!

Coco aka Gremlin is enjoying having some outside more scratching at the front door wanting to be let out.  She's unsure about seagulls and the cat upstairs...but they're probably unsure about her and her wiley ways.  Poor kitty has had to visit the vet for *cough* ladies things this week but she's a tough little soul and was acting like normal within an hour or so.  Not sure us humans would feel as good if we'd had half our inside whipped out.

I'm loving has everything I need.....3 trillion charity shops, mad people, a half price freezer in Iceland containing boxes of frozen Pina Coladas, has it all.  Not missing Crouch End's cafe's or Dunns the Bakers yet.

I've enjoyed having friends visit and cooking dinner for skinny young men but havn't ventured too far yet due to lack of money.  FINALLY news is that what's left of my deposit will be in the bank on Tuesday. 

I did go and see Neneh Cherry last night (following the quaffing of some fizz).  Although she sounded excellent and I did appreciate it, it wasn't really me...nor were the very drunk people all over the place.  I sadly left before Buffalo Stance too.  Fantastic that she's playing our old Sweden Made Me venue, The Prince Albert.  So....a tiny upstairs room in a pub, followed by Sydney Opera House....yep!  We imagined that she had probably got the venue wrong and actually meant to play The Albert Hall last night....and ended up with porky scratchings on her rider!

Early days here by the sea but expect more exciting stories of things going on soon.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Belated Happy Holidays.....

Hope the baby Jesus came up trumps and you all had copious amounts of Baileys in your Xmas socks.

December has been manic as far as organising my move and avoiding injury from a cheeky kitten has been concerned.  Packing and cleaning will be a short-term thing.  Blood-letting and scarification may last a bit longer.  I'm currently sitting here with Savlon covered legs and a plaster on my arm.  If I go septic, it was nice knowing you.

We survived another Xmas.  Had a nice visit at Mum's in Newbury.  The market place was crazy as ever with I think 2 people passing through when we were there.  Partook in my first mullage of the Winter, at a lovely little Xmas food market & had lunch at the new Bill's Restaurant.  (That small, large chested woman was Melinda Messenger Mother!).  To Rushall after, for a big family lunch, and a couple of days with my antique little girl, Gran.  Xmas Day was spent here as usual but a kindly friend came and cooked the most amazing lunch.....take that Jamie Oliver....thanks Ali, it was blinking marvellous!

Apart from packing, it appears that all I've done this month is eat & drink.  Hey ho!  I will get healthy again when I've moved....just you wait and see!

Lunch with my long-lost boss & friend, Andrea on Monday.  Lovely to catch up.  Lunch with Laurie on Tuesday in Brighton at Burgers & Cocktails.  Burgers?  Cocktails?  Both together?  What's not to like.  Recommended.....Banoffee Popcorn Sundae.  Also recommended, White Russians in Twisted Lemon!

Sooooooo.....just a week until myself & Coco the kitten (aka Gremlin) move down to the seaside.  Am making the most of the view of Alexandra Palace at the moment as my view in Hove won't be quite as lovely.  Will be spending the next week steam cleaning everything within an inch of it's life.  When you read this next, I will be all unpacked and Coco will be enjoying a bit of outside space.

Happy New Year kids xx

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Getting things sorted....

It's a bright, sunny day here in Crouch End and I can see Alexandra Palace through the gaps in the trees.  I'll miss the view but will enjoy the new ones I'll be having from January.

Social life is on hold for the moment pretty much but fear ye not, I will be back in 2015 with tales of pie-based cocktails, ill-fitting shoes, and all that jazz.  I did have a lovely afternoon in Soho yesterday though - lunch with the ladies in my favourite Mediterranean Cafe' and a new experience, Bubble Tea!  As I leave, Soho is changing, Berwick Street is being dug up, Walkers Court (so I've heard) isn't what it used to be, and Madame JoJos has been shut.  What a sad state of affairs.  Sad I missed the "Funeral for Madame JoJos" yesterday.  I'm glad I've been able to experience the real Soho while I've been here.  Listen up Council, Listen up Developers, touch Trishas and I'll be after you....just saying.

One eye on the tv as I write this - once ex-Crouch End resident Matt Willis is on.  He escaped N8 for St Albans.  I think I win on the new home town Matt!

I found a new home in November, in Hove Actually.  So, as it happens, I'm not actually moving to Brighton, I'm moving to Hove.  Much of a muchness.  I got lucky with my new home - a supposedly brilliant landlord who I know will look after the place (& me, should I need it).  I've got a tiny patio space and a tiny utility room.  Not as big as my current place but not as expensive obviously.  Swings & roundabouts.  As I begin to pay £700 a month from January, the new tenants here will be paying double. 

2 flats in Brighton but none before in Hove.  I'm happy with the location - close to the station and, more importantly, close to the trillion charity shops in George Street, which I will be raiding as often as I can no doubt.

To go with the new flat, I have a new friend....a new furry friend, although enemy is probably a better word this morning as I've feared for my life.  New furry friend is a little black & white kitten which I've named Coco (a.k.a Gremlin more often then not).  She's a typical kitten & a right little Jekyll & Hyde character.  For all the reading up I've done on kitten behaviour, I think she's just normal, playful....and quite often dangerous!  Kitten is currently asleep on the sofa, on her blanket, next to me, good as gold....last night was a different matter....lucky to have survived it.  When I say "don't jump on my head", I mean it GREMLIN!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Turning my Heartbeat Up....

Obviously those of you in the know will realise from the title of this week's blog that I went to see the LONG LONG LONG-AWAITED "Northern Soul" at the Arthouse Cinema last weekend.  Well worth the wait as it was blinking marvellous!  Made by someone who actually knows about the scene they're talking about and who spent many a moon getting it just right for the big screen has made one hell of a difference.  As far as I know, the film has sold out pretty much every screening on small screen cinema around the country and more than deserves it.  Great soundtrack, great acting.  I don't really have a bad word to say about it.  What Quadrophenia did for mod all those years ago, Northern Soul has done for...umm, Northern Soul.  Just praying it doesn't mean a badly researched range for M&S or "Keep the Faith" t-shirts in Primark. 

Crouch End was lucky enough to get a Q&A session with the two main male actors after the screening.  I say lucky enough as my friends in Brum got someone's cousin I think!  Was so pleased to hear that they actors have actually really become interested in Northern Soul and still go dancing!  It'd be a shame to waste all Keb Darge's teaching after all!  Lovely boys who will no doubt go far!

Back to Brighton on Tuesday for an almost summery day with a boy in a suit.  Lunch at Las Iguanas (We might have had two cocktails), AMAZING gelato at Gelato Gusto (pear & parmesan and black truffle).  NO to Black Truffle though!  Too weird even for weird old me.  Victorian Penny Arcade fun (if only all the machines worked) and more fun coin pushing like children in the 'musements.  I can see how people get addicted to gambling - very hard to drag ourselves away from the 2p machines! Final cocktail in Twisted Lemon.....Banoffee Pie Martini you say?  Oh go on then.  As always L, thanks for a fun day.  A photo for you:

As my whole life appears to be revolved around eating & drinking, I wouldn't want to let the side down so yesterday was a few hours spent in the company of the lovely Brum ladies & Ali (who is also lovely I should add!!!).  Lunch in Chipotle (top points for you Miss Kitty La for suggesting this), ice-cream (again) and a cheeky Smirnoff Ice in The Gay Hussar.  Most hilarious observation of the day - ham in a cone.  Nope?  Me Neither.  "My ham in a cone brings all the boys to the yard".  Thanks for a lovely day ladies.

One final blog mention as it's important.  30 October saw 6 years since my friend Jonnah took her own life.  I'd just left Stockholm and it's in my diary - so I never forget.  Her family & friends remember every day though I'm sure.  We'll make sure none of us ever forget Jonnah!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Big Plans....

Hello October

I'm sitting here in thick cardigan, with the heating on, watching the rain fall and the leaves drop off the trees.  I can nearly see Alexandra Palace.  Must be Autumn.  My thick black tights have replaced the glossy ones....they're like old, welcoming friends who I havn't seen since Spring.

I had a birthday since I last wrote this.  I am old.  That is all.

Not much has been happening socially due to lack of funds & lack of enthusiasm!  I did go to Brighton last weekend though, which was nice.  Lunch for 10 of us at The Fountainhead, warm enough to sit outside for a while, rummaging round Snoopers Paradise, and catching up with folks.  All good....apart from the dentist....which is never good.....or getting water in my shoes, which is also rubbish.

Day off with Laurie on Tuesday on a miraculously dry day.  We went to the Imperial War Museum, which I was SURE was in Greenwich (!!!!) which turned out to be quite fascinating.  It's been re-designed apparently and is huge.  I forced myself to go round the Holocaust floor.  About as intense as intense can be, and we came out with huge headaches.  One of those things that you do have to force yourself to see I think.  Culture was followed by cheap as chips lunch at Maries, a nosey round What the Butler Wore & Radio Days, and a sneaky cocktail in Cubana.  It'd be rude not to.  Thanks for a lovely day Mr Hyde-Smith. news.  A lightning bolt hit me and, after a great deal of number-crunching and planning, I've decided I have to move back to Brighton.  I will miss Crouch End & London hugely but I'm drowning in expenses here and need to do something to regain my financial freedom.  I'll make the move after Xmas and will pray that I can find a new home that's even half as nice as my North London flat.  I'm sure it will be, I've loved all my homes.  Looking forward to a New Year and a new start.  I'll be keeping my London work on....nothing much will change....except my location.

Wish me luck kids....and line up those seaside hugs.

Monday, 15 September 2014

"Jane Says"....

I'm back Frock Fans!  Quite a few weeks have passed....soz and all that!

Summer has just about been and gone but it's been a pretty good one.

A few weeks back, myself & the lovely Northern lass went to see Jane's Addiction doing the "Nothing's Shocking" album and all the classics, in Brixton.  Perry Farrell, even nearing 60, is still the best front man there has ever been in my opinion....and also quite attractive if truth be known ;)
A great night....lots of memories from my dreadlocked years....and a good time out with Miss Whitwell. 

I cannot believe I'm writing about another August Bank Holiday in Brighton so soon again.  It's just flown by.  Thanks to kindly relatives, I got to stay in a lovely little b&b this year....Coward's Guesthouse in Upper Rock Gardens.  Take note's a fantastic little find and a real bargain.  I will be returning!  As always, the mod weekender is the best opportunity to catch up with people you don't see very often (if ever!), do a bit of mod bothering, a bit of dancing, and a bit of general people-watching.  Controversial but contrary to other reports, I actually do think that there were a lot of horrendously dressed folk this year...more than normal....but hey, what do I know?  I'm hoping that someone will tell me if I look ridiculous.  For example, I have knees like tree trunks.  This is not appropriate for white tights.  Just saying.

Needed to do quite a lot of staying local following the mod rally.  Eating rubbish for 3 days costs a lot you know.  However, yesterday was probably the last day out of Summer....and as it's always one of the best days out of the year, there was no way on earth I was going to miss the second Modcast Boat Party of 2014.  Oh how I love going up and down the Thames on a sunny Sunday afternoon, dancing to Gil Scott-Heron, and returning to the Southbank during a beautiful sunset.  If you're getting sick of London, take a trip down the river, you'll fall in love with it again, guaranteed.  Big love to Laurie, Gumball Milly & Kitty La in particular for making the day fun as always.  No big love to the sex pests or the midget dj who bothered us immensely ;)

Enjoy the last days of Summer kids.  Autumn isn't all bad though....conkers, boots and that.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Summer Stuff.....and Mod Bothering

London's  I won't complain as before you know it, it'll be a distant memory.

July is nearly over but lots has been on, visitors have visited and days out have been had.

My swedish friend Louise (more english than swedish if truth be known!) was in London for a few days so we ventured out to the Bar Italia 65th birthday party.  What a day!  Frith Street was closed to traffic, the sun shone and we had the best afternoon ever.

We got all cultural,  listened to opera and drank Aperol spritz.  We watched The Soho Hobo do his thing (one of my current favourites), Suggs do "Baggy Trousers" and Adam Ant be all gorgeous.  Not bad for an afternoon's free entertainment I say.  Soho's characters were out in force....the man with the glass on his head, the Italian pensioners dancing like they were 25 again, the middle-aged fashionistas who showed everyone else up.  People danced, drank and hung out of Soho windows.  Belated Happy Birthday Bar Italia....thank you for the good times and all the coffee!

What else?  I took a brief trip to Worthing.  No near death events thankfully this time.  Moving on.

Last weekend, the sun stayed out and we went to the ModernHistory day in Lower Marsh, Waterloo.  A real contrast to last year's damp experience.  Found a gorgeous dress in the little vintage market, looked at some lovely black & white photos, visited the ladies in What the Butler Wore, drank Strawberry Coladas, got confused in the pub that didn't serve cider nor know how to make lager & lime, danced a bit, and Emma got her bum pinched.  (Sex pests, they're everywhere).  A good turnout of scooters for Scoot the Thames too.

Had a day off and a day out in Soho yesterday....too much to mention but included Peckham Rye, Babette and small dogs at The Society Club Shop, Bar Italia (again), Liberty (my first time), Golden Square, escaping Carnaby Street as quick as we can, lunch in Pollo, and a pointless visit to pointless Covent Garden.  Thank you for a lovely day Mr Hyde-Smith, this is for you: